Knight Rider (1982 TV series)

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Knight Rider
Created by Glen A. Larson
Voices of William Daniels
Narrated by Richard Basehart
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes90 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Glen A. Larson
  • Robert Foster
  • R.A. Cinader
Production location(s)California
Running time48 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor MCA TV
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Audio format
Original releaseSeptember 26, 1982 (1982-09-26) 
April 4, 1986 (1986-04-04)
Followed by Knight Rider (2008 TV series)
Related shows

Knight Rider is an American action crime drama television series created and produced by Glen A. Larson. The series was originally broadcast on NBC from 1982 to 1986. The show stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by KITT, an advanced artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car. This was the last series Larson devised at Universal Television before he moved to 20th Century Fox Television.



Self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescues police Detective Lieutenant Michael Arthur Long after a near fatal shot to the face, giving him a new identity (by plastic surgery) and a new name: Michael Knight. Wilton selects Michael to be the primary field agent in the pilot program of his public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). The other half of this pilot program is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), a heavily modified, technologically advanced Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with numerous features, including an extremely durable shell and frame, controlled by a computer with artificial intelligence. Michael and KITT are brought in during situations where "direct action might provide the only feasible solution".

Heading FLAG is Devon Miles, who provides Michael with directives and guidance. Dr. Bonnie Barstow is the chief engineer in charge of KITT's care, as well as technical assistant to Devon (April Curtis fills this role in Season 2).

Cast and characters



The car used as KITT in the series was a customized 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sports model, that cost US$100,000 to build [3] (equivalent to about $265,690.35 in 2018). [4] Nose, dash and other interior of the car were designed by the design consultant Michael Scheffe. [5]


The "Knight Rider Theme" was composed by Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson. [6] The series DVD bonus material contains an interview about this lead music, where Glen A. Larson says he remembers a theme out of a classical piece ("Marche Et Cortège De Bacchus" Act III - No. 14 from Sylvia written by French composer Léo Delibes) from which he took pieces for the "Knight Rider Theme".

The rest of the series music was composed by Stu Phillips for 13 episodes and Don Peake for 75 episodes. Glen A. Larson co-wrote music for one episode and Morton Stevens wrote the music for one episode. Peake took over scoring duties at S1E14 in 1983, when Larson moved to Twentieth Century-Fox and Phillips was working there on his projects. [7] Peake remained as the series sole composer until the end of the series in 1986, with the exception of "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R." in third season, which he composed together with Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson.

In 2005 FSM released a disc of music from the series, featuring the series theme, ad bumpers and Phillips' scores for "Knight of the Phoenix" (the pilot), "Not a Drop to Drink", "Trust Doesn't Rust", "Forget Me Not" and the composer's final episode "Inside Out", as well as the logo music for Glen Larson Productions. Albums of Don Peake's scores have also been issued.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 22September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26)May 6, 1983 (1983-05-06)
2 24October 2, 1983 (1983-10-02)May 27, 1984 (1984-05-27)
3 22September 30, 1984 (1984-09-30)May 5, 1985 (1985-05-05)
4 22September 20, 1985 (1985-09-20)April 4, 1986 (1986-04-04)

The intro throughout most of the episodes began with this narration:

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.
Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless in a world of criminals who operate above the law.

During the first season, the outro was Michael and KITT driving though a road in the desert with Wilton Knight's words of "One man can make a difference, Michael."

Then the narration goes on to say:

Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world. The world of the Knight Rider.

The outro of Seasons 2 and 3 was Michael and KITT driving away from the sunset toward the camera. Season 4's outro was the same, except with KITT in Super Pursuit Mode.

Syndication and home media

In syndication

Knight Rider was first syndicated in the U.S. in the Fall of 1986. Stations were initially offered either the original hour-long format (with three minutes cut from each episode), or severely-condensed into half-hour format. [8] Reruns were later syndicated on USA Network in 1994, [9] Sci-Fi Channel in 2003, [10] Sleuth in 2005, [11] and on G4 in 2012. [12]

DVD releases

Universal Studios has released all four seasons of Knight Rider on DVD in regions 1, 2 & 4. A complete series box set featuring all 90 episodes in a collector's edition box has been released in regions 1 [13] & 2. [14]

On March 8, 2016, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series in Region 1; they subsequently re-released the first two seasons on DVD on May 3, 2016. [15] On October 4, 2016, Mill Creek re-released Knight Rider- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. [16]

Blu-ray releases

In Japan, NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan—a subsidiary of NBCUniversal—released a Blu-ray box set containing all four seasons, replicas, props, and memorabilia under the title ナイトライダー コンプリート ブルーレイBOX (Knight Rider: The Complete Series). The set is limited to Region Code A, which includes the U.S. It was released on November 27, 2014. [17]

In North America, Mill Creek Entertainment released the complete series on Blu-ray in Region 1 on October 4, 2016. [18]

Digital streaming

The series had been available for streaming on Netflix. The first season was available on Hulu. Some episodes are available on NBC's web site. [19]

Spin-offs and sequels

These adventures were continued with the television films Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010 and the short-lived Team Knight Rider . One other television movie, Knight Rider , served as a pilot for the 2008 television series Knight Rider . In 1985, a spin-off series, Code of Vengeance , also premiered.

In 1988 Angelo di Marco made a French comic strip based on the series, titled K2000. It was published by Dargaud. [20]

In 1984, "Hooray for Hollywood", a two-part episode of Diff'rent Strokes , David Hasselhoff and KITT (not voiced by William Daniels) appeared when rescuing Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman) and Dudley Ramsey (Shavar Ross) from a near on-set incident while visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

A black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am built to mimic KITT from the TV series Knight Rider. A black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am built to mimic KITT from the TV series Knight Rider.jpg
A black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am built to mimic KITT from the TV series Knight Rider.

On July 8, 2008, GPS manufacturer Mio Technology announced the release of a Knight Rider-themed GPS unit for a price of $270. The unit has the original Knight Rider logo printed above the display and features the voice of William Daniels. [21]

In 2012 and 2013, General Electric ran an advertising campaign, "Brilliant Machines", about the coming generation of General Electric robotic devices. The campaign was built around famous robots from the movies and television, and K.I.T.T. was prominently featured. [22] One ad, narrated by William Daniels, showed K.I.T.T. in Autocruise mode pacing a GE diesel-electric railroad engine hauling a freight train. [23]

In 2014, Fast 'n Loud did a two part episode, "Don't Hassle The Hoff", built around a friend of Richard Rawlings' desire to own a KITT replicar. Part II features the replicar engaging in a number of Knight Rider-style stunts. [24]

In 2015, both David Hasselhoff and KITT (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) appear in a Comic-Con segment in the unrated version of Ted 2. Hasselhoff and KITT later paired together again for an AT&T/DirecTV advertisement which also featured other film/television personalities such as Big Bird and the Oklahoma Sooners football team interspersed with the daily workings of a major city as someone walks around using the service's TV Everywhere initiative. [25]

In the 2015 Kung Fury film, the main character Kung Fury has a talking car "Hoff 9000", voiced by David Hasselhoff. (The 9000 is a reference to HAL 9000, and the Hoff 9000 is unwilling to open the car doors.)[ citation needed ]

In 2018 Wal-Mart made an ad promoting their new curbside pickup service starring epic Hollywood automobiles. KITT is featured in four shots and has a spoken line. [26]


The Knight Rider theme was sampled in the songs "Clock Strikes", "Fire It Up", and "Mundian to Bach Ke", [27] and was also featured as Ted's ringtone in John's phone in the 2012 comedy film Ted . [28]

See also

Related Research Articles

David Hasselhoff American actor, singer, producer, and businessman

David Michael Hasselhoff, nicknamed "The Hoff", is an American actor, singer, producer, and businessman, who set a Guinness World Record as the most watched man on TV. He first gained recognition on The Young and The Restless, playing Dr. Snapper Foster. His career continued with his leading role as Michael Knight on Knight Rider and as L.A. County Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the series Baywatch. Hasselhoff produced Baywatch from the 1990s until 2001 when the series ended with Baywatch Hawaii. He has also appeared in films, including Click, Dodgeball, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Hop. Before Samuel L. Jackson, Hasselhoff was the first actor to portray the Marvel Comics character Nick Fury in the 1998 telefilm Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Edward Mulhare Irish American actor

Edward Mulhare was an Irish actor whose career spanned five decades. He is best known for his starring roles in two television series: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Knight Rider.

Glen A. Larson American TV producer and writer

Glen Albert Larson was an American musician, television producer, writer and director. His best known work in television was as the creator of the television series Alias Smith and Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Quincy, M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, B. J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy, Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider. In addition to his television work, Larson also was a member of the folk revival/satire group The Four Preps.

William Daniels American actor

William David Daniels is an American actor, known for his roles as Dr. Mark Craig in the NBC drama St. Elsewhere, for which he won two Emmy Awards, and as Mr. Feeny in the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1999 to 2001.

KITT is the short name of two fictional characters from the adventure franchise Knight Rider. While having the same acronym, the KITTs are two different entities: one known as the Knight Industries Two Thousand, which appeared in the original TV series Knight Rider, and the other as the Knight Industries Three Thousand, which appeared first in the two-hour 2008 pilot film for a new Knight Rider TV series and then the new series itself. In both instances, KITT is an artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a highly advanced, very mobile, robotic automobile: the original KITT as a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and the second KITT as a 2008–2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR.

KARR (Knight Rider) Fictional, automated, prototype vehicle

KARR is the name of a fictional, automated, prototype vehicle featured as a major antagonist of KITT, in two episodes of the television series Knight Rider, and was part of a multi-episode story arc in the 2008 revived series.

<i>Knight Rider 2000</i> 1991 television film directed by Alan J. Levi

Knight Rider 2000 is a 1991 American made-for-television science fiction action film based on the 1982–1986 television series Knight Rider.

<i>Team Knight Rider</i> television series

Team Knight Rider (TKR) is a syndicated television series that was adapted from the Knight Rider franchise and ran between 1997 and 1998. TKR was created by writer/producers Rick Copp and David A. Goodman, based on the original series created by Glen A. Larson, who was an executive producer. TKR was produced by Gil Wadsworth and Scott McAboy and was distributed by Universal Domestic Television and ran only a single season of 22 one-hour episodes.

Knight of the Phoenix 1st episode of the first season of Knight Rider

Knight of the Phoenix is the syndication title to the two-hour long pilot to the popular 1980s television show Knight Rider, which starred David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart, and William Daniels. It first aired September 26, 1982, and was written by Glen A. Larson and directed by Daniel Haller. The pilot was rebroadcast as a two-part episode during further broadcast syndication.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (2008 film) 2008 television film directed by Steve Shill

Knight Rider is a 2008 American made-for-television action film which was created to serve as a backdoor pilot for the new Knight Rider television series, a revival of the 1982–1986 series of the same name. This film does not refer to either the Knight Rider 2000 film or the Team Knight Rider television series.

<i>Night Rocker</i> 1985 studio album by David Hasselhoff

Night Rocker is the debut studio album by the American actor David Hasselhoff. It was released in January 1985 on Silver Blue Records, produced by record producer Joel Diamond.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (2008 TV series) 2008 TV series

Knight Rider is an American action television series that follows the 1982 television series of the same title created by Glen A. Larson and the 2008 television movie. The series aired on NBC from September 24, 2008 to March 4, 2009.

<i>Code of Vengeance</i> American television program (1985)

Code of Vengeance is the umbrella title for a series of American television programs, produced by Universal Television, that aired on NBC in 1985 and 1986. Charles Taylor stars as David Dalton, a Vietnam veteran who has become a drifter, travelling across the United States in a camper van with only his dog for company. Dalton gets involved in the personal lives of the people he meets and uses his fighting skills to help them win justice.

Michael Knight (<i>Knight Rider</i>) Protagonist of the 1980s television series Knight Rider

Michael Knight is a fictional character and the protagonist of the 1980s television series Knight Rider, played by David Hasselhoff. The character first appeared in the opening scenes as Michael Long, played by Larry Anderson in the beginning of the pilot.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (season 1) season of the 1980s television series Knight Rider

The first season of Knight Rider, an American television series, debuted on September 26, 1982, and ended on May 6, 1983. It aired on NBC. The region 1 DVD was released on August 3, 2004.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (season 2) Season of the 1980s television series Knight Rider

The second season of Knight Rider, an American television series, began October 2, 1983, and ended on May 27, 1984. It aired on NBC. The region 1 DVD was released on April 12, 2005.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (season 3) season of the 1980s television series Knight Rider

The third season of Knight Rider, an American television series, began September 30, 1984, and ended on May 5, 1985. It aired on NBC. The region 1 DVD was released on January 31, 2006.

<i>Knight Rider</i> (season 4) season of the 1980s television series Knight Rider

The fourth and final season of Knight Rider, an American television series that ran from Sept 26, 1982 to Apr 4, 1986, began September 20, 1985, and ended on April 4, 1986. It aired on NBC. The region 1 DVD was released on April 4, 2006.

Knight Rider is an American entertainment franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The core of Knight Rider is its four television series: Knight Rider (1982–1986), Code of Vengeance (1985–1986), Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), and Knight Rider (2008–2009). The franchise also includes three television films, computer and video games, and novels, as well as KnightCon, a Knight Rider convention. Beginning with the original television series and continuing with the subsequent films and series, the franchise has developed a cult following and spawned many pop culture references.


  1. 1 2 "Knight Rider". AlloCiné . Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. Nugent, Nick (December 2008). The Knight Rider Companion. Will Garris Publishing. p. 91. ISBN   0-9774505-9-7.
  3. Browning, Norma Lee. "Riding High with Knight Rider", Toys R Us magazine; Vol. 1, No. 2; 1986; p. 5
  4. "CPI Inflation Calculator". Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Government. United States Government. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  5. The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T.- Behind the Scanner Archived June 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Knight Rider Theme" sheet music at
  7. "Revving It Up", liner notes, Knight Rider: The Stu Phillips Scores, FSM Vol. 8, No. 10.
  8. rider%22
  9. Daily Variety Magazine; November 3, 1994 issue; p. 23.
  12. "G4 to re-air Knight Rider starting October 1st - news". knight rider online.
  13. Knight Rider: The Complete Series. "Knight Rider: The Complete Series: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare: Movies & TV". Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  14. "Knight Rider — The Complete Box Set [DVD]: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Patricia Mcpherson, Julian Alverez, James Young: Film & TV". Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  15. "Knight Rider DVD news: Re-Release for Season 1 and Season 2 -". Archived from the original on March 11, 2016.
  16. "Knight Rider DVD news: Announcement for The Complete Series on Blu-ray". Archived from the original on July 3, 2016.
  17. "Knight Rider: The Complete Series Blu-ray". Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  18. Mill Creek Announces Blu-ray Disc for 'The Complete Series'! *UPDATED* Archived July 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine .
  19. Knight Rider.
  21. "Knight Rider GPS by Mio Brings K.I.T.T. to Every Car" (Press release). MiTAC Intl. July 8, 2008. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009.
  22. "GE — Journey". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  23. "Knight Rider KITT and the Locomotive Train GE 2012 TV Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  25. "AT&T TV Commercial, 'Everywhere'". Accessed 3 February 2017.
  27. "the best in hip hop/soul". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  28. "Movie — Review of Ted (*1/2)" . Retrieved October 1, 2014.

Further reading


Joe Huth, David Bronstein: Knight Rider: 30 Years of a Lone Crusader and His Talking Car (Isbn) 9781478221470


An annual was published each year in the UK by Grandreams. These books consisted of a mix of text stories and cartoon strips, as well as photos and articles on the show's stars and KITT. There were five annuals produced in total, each reflecting the season of the show that was airing at the time, with the final two releases covering the final season. (The last annual was printed in a quite small quantity, due to the fading popularity of the show, and is thus considerably rarer.)